Halloween time is upon us, and with it comes all manner of scary stories. It’s the perfect time to curl up on the couch, brew a mug of tea, and take in an eerie tale. When it comes to scary books and movies, nothing beats the classics (I mean, the original Friday the 13th and Halloween films are clearly the best). Here are four of my favorite classic horror books for this spooky season.
1. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
Classic or otherwise, Frankenstein is one of my all time favorite books. While originally published in 1818 England, Mary Shelley’s story is timeless. Born from a rainy summer in Switzerland telling ghost stories with Lord Byron, Shelley’s tale takes us on the journey of Dr. Frankenstein and his creation. Through the cities and forests of Europe to the frozen north, this heart-wrenching and chiling narrative of master and creature unfolds. Embarking on such an adventure is a perfect way to spend a crisp fall day.
2. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
The story of Jekyll and Hyde is a well-known one that’s been popularized in pop culture. Originally, it was a novella by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson published in 1886. The story tells of the mysterious good and evil personalities of Jekyll and Hyde and the consequences around town. At just more than 100 pages, it’s a quick chilling read fitting for the season.
3. Dracula by Bram Stoker
I first read Dracula for a class in grad school and was totally surprised by how thoroughly creepy it actually is. While the book was published in 1897 by Irish author Bram Stoker, the story of Count Dracula has since been retold innumerable times. The original tale tells of an English businessman who travels to Dracula’s castle in Transylvania for work. At first he feels welcomed in the count’s home, but soon comes to realize he’s the captive of a vampire. The unfolding of this eerie novel will give you chills.
4. McTeague by Frank Norris
Now, McTeague wouldn’t technically be classified as a horror novel. However, it’s quite a disturbing tale, so it may as well be. The book was published in 1899 by American author Frank Norris and later turned into a silent film. McTeague tells the story of a couple in San Francisco: their courtship, tumultuous relationship, and grisly end. It’s a truly creepy story that pulls you in and keeps you invested until the last page.